I used a planner all throughout college. I depended on it to keep my multiple schedules on track (classes, internship(s), and work) and as a reminder for important deadlines. After I had graduated and started working, I found that having a planner wasn’t necessary considering that my day-to-day schedule was more or less the same during the work week. It became easier to track special events or outings on my Google calendar.
Last year I felt like having a planner system going would be beneficial. I bought the cutest Kate Spade planner and wrote in important dates and sadly, that was it. I used it for a month until I found myself not being able to use it. Fast forward to a week into January 2017 and I found myself itching to get a planner for the year. There’s something about writing in a planner that keeps drawing me in. I searched and researched for all sorts of planners online that I thought might work for me this time around.
Then I came across bullet journaling. At first, the thought of essentially creating my own planner seemed daunting and too time consuming. Monthly spreads? Habit trackers? What did those all mean!? I took to Youtube for more research and it was enough to convince me to give it a try. I ordered all my materials one snowy weekend (Thanks Amazon Prime One-day!) and spent the weekend figuring out my bullet journal.
It’s been a month since I’ve started bullet journaling and I’m so in love with it! I’m finally able to have a planner that works for me and because it works, I find myself using it daily. Before I share how I use my bullet journal, let’s get into some basics.
Bullet journaling can be anything you want it to be but when it comes down to it, it’s a to-do list. It can also be a goal tracker, journal, sketchbook, and a place to keep notes. For me, my bullet journal is a pseudo planner/journal. Because my day-to-day schedule remains the same for the most part, I write down monthly/weekly to-do’s and reflect daily (journaling).
Do you want a central place to organize your life? Do you enjoy making lists? Do you have trouble keeping up with a journal or tracking apps? Do you like pretty pens, highlighters, markers, notebooks, and stationary? Do you need a place to look back at all the cool and random things you come across every day?
What’s makes bullet journal the perfect solution is that you can make it whatever you want it to be, without having to be tied to a format or layout for the entirety of the notebook. Our needs, wants, and styles change over the course of time and so can your bullet journal! You have the freedom to be as minimal or extravagant when it comes to your bullet journal.
Task Key – Bullet journaling got its name from the idea of rapid logging or short-form notation paired with bullets. The bullets paired with your ‘to-do’ will help organize your entries as either Notes, To Do, or Events. Your task key should be towards the front of your bullet journal to reference back to. Read more about these bullets, here.
Index – Some notebooks include an already made index (Leuchtturm), but if yours doesn’t set aside the first few pages for this. Your index is your Table of Contents and should act as a quick reference to important pages within your bullet journal. You can write page numbers and populate your index as you go.
Monthly/Weekly/Daily Logs – Depending on how you utilize your bullet journal you’ll either have a monthly, weekly, and/or daily spreads/logs. This is where you track your rapid logging of to-do’s, appointments, major projects and deadlines, and any habit tracking if you’re into that.
Future Logs – This can be set up as either by year, quarter, or month; this is where you would keep track of important events or dates.
Goal Tracking – Also dependent on how you track your goals, you can either set up your page by year, season, or month. This is where you’ll write down your goals and things you want to accomplish for that time period.
Habit Tracking – These are typically tracked by daily, weekly, or monthly but I do have habit trackers that span over the year. You can track things such as your daily water intake, meals, budget, and exercise.
MISC Spreads – If you like keeping lists or tracking things, ideas for other spreads are books you’d like to read, movies you’d like to see, and wishlists. Basically anything else you’d want to list, you can dedicate a page or spread for.
Now that you have some of the basics down it’s time to start your bullet journal! I suggest going through your pages and labeling (in pencil) the pages and spreads you want. I approached mine starting with the things I wanted to track for the year (2017 Overview, Resolutions/Intentions, My Year in Pixels, 2017 Activity Tracker), then by month (monthly overview, monthly habits), and finally by week/day. All your MISC spreads can land anywhere and you can track its page number by adding it to the index. Once you have it laid out to your liking, you can create your spreads!
We may be in February, but it’s not too late to get started on your bullet journal! Once you identify how you’ll be using your bullet journal, the entire process of starting a bullet journal will seem less intimidating. There are so many resources and inspirations online to help you get started (Pinterest, Instagram, Youtube.. just search #bulletjournal or #bujo!). I hope this guide has helped you if you’ve been interested in bullet journaling — feel free to ask any questions!
week three january spread!! you'll feel my pain when i say i dropped something in my bag and it landed inside my bullet journal so it creased a few pages😪 i've left them under a load of magazines to flatten them back out! fingers crossed it works!✨ if you haven't seen my previous post, don't forget to enter my international giveaway!!💌
A post shared by emma studies (@emmastudiess) on
#planwithmechallenge Day 18 : journaling. ——– 🇺🇸 I recently decided to write a few lines about my day in my dailies. What about you? Are you using your bullet journal only to plan you day or do you also write about yourself, about your day? ——– 🇫🇷 J'ai récemment décidé d'écrire quelques lignes pour résumer ma journée. Et vous? Votre bullet journal vous sert-il uniquement à planifier vos journées ou est-ce que vous vous en servez également pour écrire sur vous, vos journée? ——– #bulletjournal #bulletjournaljunkies #bulletjournallove #bulletjournaladdict #bulletjournalcollection #bujo #bujojunkies #bujocommunity #bujocollection #bujoinspire #bujobeauty #bulletjournalinspiration #showmeyourplanner #planner #leuchtturm1917 #staedler #staedlerfineliner #fabercastellpittartistpen #pittartistpen #fabercastell
A post shared by Plan w/ Ady (adybulletjournal) (@planwithady) on
#planwithmechallenge Day 2: Monthly Overview Okay, so I cannot draw pumpkins 😂 but here is my monthly layout for October. Little change from previous months except for the tracker on the right. Each thing I track is directly related to an October goal, this way I can stay accountable for the effort I am putting into meeting my goals 😊 Hope you're have a wonderful Sunday! #bulletjournal #bulletjournaljunkies #bujo #bulletjournalcommunity #planner #planneraddict
A post shared by Kate | Plan To Succeed (@plantosucceed) on
I really love this minimal yearly tracker by @thatbujokid!! 😍 "Trying out new spreads in the remaining pages of my 2016 journal and came up with this creation: a yearly activity tracking spread, using different symbols to represent my activity level for the day. Not convinced about all the symbols yet but it's a work in progress, and I think some version of this will end up at the front of my new journal in January. Has anyone else tried a yearly tracker?" . . . . #bulletjournaling #bulletjournaljunkies #bulletjournalcommunity #bulletjournaladdicts #bulletjournallove #minimalist #minimalistbulletjournal #journal #journaling #plannersofinstagram #planning #minimalistplanning #nautical #bujo #minimalistbujo #2017planning #active #activitytracker #activityplanning #active2017 #yearlyspread #yearlytracker
A post shared by previously @minimalistbujo (@simplyproductivity) on
A post shared by Federica • Bullet Journal (@feebujo) on